Libera’s guest of the week Olli-Pekka Heinonen is Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb’s State Secretary. Heinonen was Minister of Education between 1994 and 1995 in the Aho administration and between 1995 and 1999 in the Lipponen I administration, Minister of Traffic in the Lipponen II administration between 1999 and 2000 and Minister of Traffic and Communication between 2000 and 2002. From 2002 until 2011 Heinonen headed the Finnish Broadcasting Company. He is a lawyer by education.
What is Finland’s greatest challenge?
Finland’s greatest challenge is an identity challenge; how to be a democracy and small nation in a world of strong interrelations and discontinuities. Who decides on common issues, where do we draw the line between shared and private, how do we solve or participate in solving our problems, and, above all, how do we implement the solutions we want in a sustainable manner while preserving the Finnish soul. By clinging too long to our past strenghts we loose new opportunities.
What is Finland’s greatest opportunity?
Finland’s greatest opportunity is the abillity to combine the common trust created by social capital and a flexible and agile way of doing things that respects individual freedom and options.
What single thing would you change right away?
I would move all ministers’ offices and cabinets into the same building.